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What Are the Different Types of Americana Decor?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
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  • Last Modified Date: 21 August 2016
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The many different types of Americana decor reflect the cultural heritage and history of the United States. Americana may be divided by era or theme of the artifact, such as colonial, vintage 20th century-inspired, or patriotic crafts and decorations. Other types of Americana may be divided by function, such as soft furnishings, art, or dinnerware.

Many Americana pieces derive inspiration from a specific time in the history of the United States. Colonial decor tends to reflect popular crafts, styles, and images from the 18th century and the dawn of the United States. Nineteenth century America is often represented through pioneer craft items, such as hand-sewn quilts and whittled wooden figures. Both Colonial and prairie or pioneer decorations rely on handmade objects that may be purchased, but can also be created by an ambitious homemaker. Learning to sew traditional patchwork quilts or carve detailed chairs can be a great way to turn style preferences into hobbies.

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Vintage 20th century Americana decor usually draws inspiration from the classic products and images of 1950s America, reflecting traditional family values and mid-century culture. Many of the pieces used for this style of decoration can be found in vintage shops, and can be a great way to add a funky, unusual twist to Americana-styled design. Vintage decor often uses artwork as a focal point, including modernistic design pieces as well as paintings and photographs from mid-century artists. Retro-themed functional pieces, such as a vintage stove or record player, can truly help complete the authentic look of a mid-century themed area.

Patriotic-themed home decorations are a popular segment of Americana decor These often include representations of the American flag or various representations of stars and stripes. Patriotic furnishings and decorations are often purchased for specific occasions, such as the Fourth of July, but may also be displayed year round. Temporary Americana decorations for holiday parties are often available in one-time use versions, such as patriotic-themed paper plates, cups, and banner.

Americana-themed items can be found in nearly any type of home decoration. Quilts, cushions, blankets, and curtains are easily found or made with vintage fabrics or colonial sewing techniques. Antique or reproduction furniture that showcases a distinctly American decor style, such as California arts and crafts or colonial design, can fit well into any American-themed room. One excellent way to bring Americana decor into the dining room is through dishware that displays traditional American artwork, or scenes from the colonial, pioneer, or vintage American eras.

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cloudel
Post 4

I have an Americana wreath that I hang on my living room wall. It is made of red, white, and blue metal stars, and they are all different sizes. They are placed in such a way that they form an attractive yet imperfect circle.

In keeping with the theme, I have several Americana wall plates. The paintings on them are from the old days, and the color scheme is red, white, and blue.

While I enjoy displaying items like these, I would never eat off of the plates. I think it would be disrespectful to plop food down on top of such patriotic art.

Oceana
Post 3

@StarJo – Many people like to decorate their walls with handmade quilts. I actually like to use them on my bed.

My grandmother was a great quiltmaker. It would take her months to finish a single one, but that is part of what made it so special.

This was a craft passed down through several generations, so it is a big part of Americana. When I think that her quilting abilities started with an ancestor long ago, it makes me treasure the quilt that much more.

I use them on my bed, but I also have a couple of smaller quilts draped across my sofas. They give my living room an old-fashioned feel.

shell4life
Post 2

My parents have several paintings portraying pioneer scenes. Something about this time in history really appeals to them, and they collect paintings of old explorers and covered wagons.

They have a large Americana style painting over their fireplace. It shows several covered wagons in a field, and people in bonnets and hats have set up camp there. Horses are all around, and you can see mountains in the distance.

The other paintings all seem to include horses, too. That was the main mode of transportation back then, so this is appropriate.

StarJo
Post 1

My friend's grandparents have their entire house decorated in Americana style. I think this is because it reminds them of a time when things were simpler, even though some of the items hearken to the days before they were even born.

They have vintage wooden rocking chairs that were made by hand. They have quilts made by ancestors, and they have several red, white, and blue items throughout their house.

I must say that it feels very homey. I feel like I've stepped out of the present when I go in their home, but it doesn't feel unfamiliar.

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